Tuesday, February 5, 2008

14 Comic Book Couples I Love - Part 11

I'm afraid this entry's going to be shorter than usual because I'm a bit under the weather. Nothing a good six hours of sleep can't cure (I hope).

So here's another couple that isn't exactly flourishing at the moment, alas. Of course, the beautiful thing about comics is that people come back from the dead all the time. Plus, time travel's in play for one of these two characters as of right now, so let's hope that I'm being prescient by talking about the adorable relationship of . . .

11. Gertrude Yorkes & Chase Stein

Runaways had me at hello. The premise seemed so unusual for a Marvel Comic. All new characters, all teens and - most importantly - all without distinctive goofy spandex costumes or codenames? Shocking! The whole "kids of supervillains on the run from their own parents" angle didn't hurt either. And they lived in California! Holy Crap!

And most stunningly of all, these teenagers looked like real teens. Adrian Alphona took Brian K. Vaughan's directions and made superpowered teens like I'd never seen before in a comic book. Sure, some of them were a trifle on the thin and pretty side but none of them ran around with the grotesquely deformed parodies of adult bodies so many artists think are "teenagers". *shudder* Amazingly, one of the girls - the inimitably smart and smart-assed Gertrude Yorkes - was even portrayed as having an honest-to-God Rubenesque frame. Even more impressively, Brian K. Vaughn had Chase Stein - the guy who came across as the pretty, meatheaded jock - fall hard for Gertrude and stay fallen. They brought out the best in each other, or at least the most amusing in one another.

I"m a soft spot for a good teen romance. There's something that always makes me nostalgic about stories of first love and they've certainly nailed it on the head with these two. Mind you, this isn't just some paltry "good girl falls for bad boy" cliche. They've got a lot of moxy and originality, like all the Runaways. If want to boil them down to cliches, Gertrude "Arsenic" Yorkes was often show to be the brains, with her bad-ass pet dinosaur, Old Lace. Chase "Talkback" Stein was something of the brawn with stolen supergoods and later on, just his wits and a switchblade. Oh, and a talking robot frog car but that's a long story. As time went on they became a charming, quick-witted teen couple who balanced each other's strengths nicely. Those who snark together, stay together, after all.

As it turned out, happiness wasn't in the cards for them. Luckily, it seems that one of them seems to be very good at cheating at cards. I don't feel like spoiling the details for anybody who hasn't read Joss Whedon's tri-monthly issues of Runaways (or any Runaways whatsoever for that matter), so I'll just say that I hope they come back soon . . .

Gertrude & Chase - because the Marvel U needs more snark.

. . . hmmmmm. This retrospective seems a little light on Gertrude Awesomeness. Let's fix that, shall we?



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